G-A-Y club given dire hygiene rating over mouldy ice machines not cleaned in years

A person walks past the G-A-Y gay bar venue in London, England.

Long-running London bar and club G-A-Y has been given a low hygiene rating after mould was spotted in the Soho venue’s ice machines – but the club says the machines were not in use.

A Westminster City Council inspector discovered that two machines located on the third floor were “heavily soiled with mould, limescale sediments and possible bacteria within the inside compartment” when they visited in November, MyLondon reported.

The inspector’s report found that the water filtration system connected to both machines “had not been serviced since 2017”.

“Bacteria that can cause serious harm to humans are able to survive in ice cubes and bacteria such as Salmonella, E Coli and Norovirus, plus many other illnesses could occur from ingesting dirty or contaminated ice,” the report added.

Fruit flies were also seen around a sink in the basement of the London nightclub, MyLondon reported.

The inspector gave G-A-Y Bar a hygiene rating of ‘1’, one of the lower ratings on the scale which runs from zero to five. According to the Food Standards Agency’s website, businesses that are given a ‘1’ rating must make “major” improvements to hygiene standards.

The website also revealed that G-A-Y needed “major improvement” to its “hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage”. The cleanliness and conditions of the facilities and building were in need of “necessary” improvement, according to the website.

G-A-Y did receive a “generally satisfactory” rating for its management of food safety.

Keiron Joy, daytime manager of G-A-Y Bar, told MyLondon that the ice machines were mouldy, but he said the machines were not in use when the inspection was carried out.

He said the venue discontinued using the older machines as they had just bought a “new, much larger ice machine” located behind the ground floor bar.

“We were waiting for the old ones to be removed,” Joy said. “Due to reduced capacities, the ice machines in question were not needed or used.”

He added that there were a “small number” of fruit flies in the basement area, but this was in a “sink in a section of the cellar that is not used or located near any stock”. Joy said the area was “immediately disinfected” and signs were “placed for correct liquid disposal”.

According to Joy, Westminster City Council has inspected the bar once again, and he said the inspector was happy with the changes implemented by the venue.